Afghan president and Pakistani minister bash ISI, Gen Pasha with one voice

19 Jun

karzai.big_picIt was a real treat to watch interview of Afghan president Hamid Karzai with a Jang Group journalist two days ago. Both the interviewer and the interviewee are known for their sympathies for anti-Pakistan terror outfit, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). President Karzai admitted that Afghanistan has provided safe havens to the elements of TTP. From the very outset, it was clear that the interview was scheduled for the sole purpose of bashing Pakistan’s premier intelligence out, the ISI.

Within two days of Karzai interview, the same media group aired an interview of Pakistan’s Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday. The anchor is known for his hatred of army and ISI and his leanings towards separatist elements of Balochistan, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA). Both the journalists very brilliantly made their subjects spit venom against ISI.

ISI is under attack not only from the external front, it is being targeted from inside.

The Interior minister did not attack ISI directly; he carefully targeted its former chief, Gen Pasha. He said in his interview that remnants and the legacy of former ISI chief Gen (r) Shuja Pasha must be eliminated from within the army. The minister knows Pakistan’s entire security establishment inside out. He is the one who paved the way for elevation of Gen Musharraf as COAS through his brother, a general and defense secretary. When Musharraf dismissed Nawaz government in 1999 and jailed Nawaz and other leaders of his party, he did not touch Nisar Khan and lodged him in his house with all comforts at his disposal.

Same is the case of Hamid Karzai. He spent his life in Pakistan before moving into Afghanistan on CIA’s behest in 2001 to take over as president after fall of Taliban government. He too was comfortably lodged in Quetta under the benevolent umbrella of Pakistan’s security agencies. Karzai is known to be a paid operative of CIA and it is no more a secret that he has been receiving bundles of dirty cash from CIA. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election.

In an interview with Pak private TV channel Geo, President Karzai said that the military and intelligence agency of Pakistan are adopting crazed killer methods based on religion to destabilize Afghanistan. Playing to the galleries, President Karzai said, he had no complaints against the people of Pakistan because they shared their home and food with Afghans during the ‘Jihad’ years but he seriously had issues with the military and intelligence agency. He said that the military apparatus of Pakistan and its intelligence agency has been always misusing the Afghan good-will to make Afghanistan’s government work as their puppet and surrender to the evil will of that country.

In the era of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW), such interviews should not be taken lightly. It is the war of perceptions. The media creates perception to discredit the armed forces or glorify their role. The punch line of Karzai interview that Pakistanis are good but ISI is rogue is, in fact a subtle attempt to drive a wedge between the people and their first line of defense, the ISI. Similarly, the punch line of Nisar Khan’s interview that army is generally good but legacy of Gen Pasha must be eliminated will have similar effects as of Karzai’s interview. The minister may have said something he did not know will have adverse ramifications for the armed forces but the well-meaning politicians should be wary of those journalists who make them say something for their own, and their masters’, vested interests.

 

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